Introduction

My mobile business

WHO AM I?

I am a Hotdogman. It’s my job, it’s my business. I love what I do and I love the lifestyle it affords me. For 20 years I was in commission sales (I owned another business for 5 years in between there too) and I was never really happy doing what I was doing. I used to eat at one of three hot dog trucks or carts at least once a week while I was out and about. I also frequent a famous local diner which has good hot dogs.

Why the Hot Dog Business?

What always struck me is how “at peace” most hot dog vendors are with their job. Think about it. Hot dog vendors own their own business, don’t have to answer to a boss (unless they’re married), get to hang out and talk to people all day, they deal in CA$H, and can set their own schedule. It beats the heck out of the “rat race.” Remember, if you win the rat race, you’re still a rat! I always said to myself, “self, I’d like to be a hotdogman someday.”

Someday came in 2004 when a maelstrom struck on my local Hot Dog truck scene. All three of my regular Hot Dog Truck stops CLOSED. A popular Hot Dog Truck operator passed away suddenly. Another vendor was evicted from his spot when the city bought the land he was parked on and decided they wanted to do some landscaping. The third vendor closed and posted a “For Sale” sign on his business. I called the number on the sign and the rest, as they say, is History.

I opened on October 19th, 2004. My first day of business it was POURING rain and I sat in the truck thinking “what the hell have I done?” The Red Sox won the World Series for the first time in 86 years and my fifth child was born that October, and the last few weeks of the season business got better. I closed for the winter just before Christmas and re-opened on April 3, 2005 after a pretty snowy winter.

Initially I wasn’t doing the kinds of numbers I had hoped for, but I knew my food was good and the location I had-right near a large office park on a well traveled route with a HUGE parking lot-was good, so I stuck with it. The previous owner of my truck and spot served an inconsistent product and had a reputation for not being the cleanest operator, so I knew I had to overcome that by “getting the word out.” The quality of my hot dogs eventually became well known in the area and my run down little Hot Dog Truck became quite the hot spot in the community.

In February of 2007 I launched theHotDogTruck.com and things really started taking off. Business was GREAT. I was always crowded, even in bad weather and I had more requests for traveling “gigs” than I could handle. Unfortunately, the owner of the parking lot where I was located built a car wash and he and the town did not want me there due to traffic concerns. I had to move.

Throughout the winter of 2007-08 I searched for a new truck (the old one didn’t run and need far too much work) and a new spot. I found both.

When I wrote this, I was waiting for some work to be completed on my truck.  I was ready to open by the first day of Spring 2008. I couldn’t wait to get back out there doing what I love (and being well paid too).

I decided to start this site because there are a lot of people like me who want to get into the hot dog business. I want to share what I know to hopefully make it easier for wannabe hotdogmen (and women) to start out in this fun and profitable business. It’s not a difficult business and it shouldn’t be too confusing to get started. You shouldn’t have to spend lots of money learning how to get started either. This site and the resources listed should be more than enough to get you started in the hot dog business.

GOOD LUCK!

Comments

  1. thanx for starting this site, its full of great info. I just ‘retired’ from my catering truck business after 34 years. the cost of fuel (100 miles per day) and declining customer base due to the closing of many local businesses forced me out. I was lucky to get 1/5 of what i paid for the route, since a route next to mine added my stops to his. I have been researching used hot dog trucks and small concession trailers for weeks. I’ve learned a great deal. I also learned that what’s available used may not be that cheaper than a new concession trailer like the dreammaker carts. I was wondering what the opinions are regarding a small (6×8) concession trailer versus a truck? i’ve always operated a truck, but when it breaks down, your not making money. I also feel a new unit at a brand new location might be more helpful in starting out the business rather than a less attractive, but cheaper used truck.

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